Many educational systems worldwide are making substantial efforts to integrate an international dimension into local schools, fostering significant changes in the processes of instruction and learning as well as transformations at pedagogical and organisational levels. In this paper, we analyse data collected in four schools in Israel that the local press and educational authorities have acknowledged as schools that prominently and comprehensively incorporated international, global and intercultural dimensions. We employ a case-study approach based on interviews with principals and teachers; analysis of schools' websites and documents; and on-site observations, in order to analyse the expression of internationalisation, understand who is involved in the implementation process, and stimulate thinking about the broader impact of this process.
We find that ideological and pragmatic reasons underlie schools' motivations to internationalise; their population and status comprise major factors in the decision regarding how, where, why, and when to integrate international and intercultural dimensions. The stakeholders interviewed perceive of internationalisation as offering both cosmopolitan capital to the students and a distinctive feature to the school. The schools demonstrate diverse internationalisation patterns that are neither monitored nor guided by any regulatory agency. These findings contribute to the identification of the factors promoting or delaying the internalisation process and to the understanding of the impact of this process on schools.